11 Apr

Brexit extension provides certainty about travel arrangements for Summer

Today’s announcement from the Government about the Brexit extension provides certainty that people will be able to continue to travel to the European Union exactly as they do today, at least until the end of October 2019. 

This is good news, and it should give people total confidence to book their holidays or business travel plans, knowing that nothing will change in the short-term.

To help get this message across, we have updated our Brexit advice for travellers at abta.com/Brexit and issued a statement to national media. We are also exploring communication opportunities to reinforce our consumer confidence messages.

Political process

In summary, the agreement between the UK government and EU Member States means:

  • The UK’s date of departure from the EU under the Article 50 process is delayed to 31 October 2019;
  • However, the UK can depart the EU earlier, if the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is ratified, and there is an in-built review at the end of June;
  • The UK will need to take part in the European election, unless the WA is approved before 22 May, whereby the UK could leave as early as 1 June;

This removes the threat of no-deal in the short-term, provided that the European Parliamentary elections take place as laid out in the Statutory Instrument that has been approved by Parliament, and covers the entire Summer season. 

The Prime Minister has confirmed her preference remains to aim for a deal that enables the UK not to take part in the European Elections in May, and that she hopes to be able to agree a deal so that the UK can leave the EU before the end of June. 

As usual, ABTA is following the developments closely and we will continue to update Members as and when necessary. 

We will also continue to work closely with the Government, and officials in Europe, on the outstanding policy issues the industry faces. We are also recommending that Members continue with contingency planning, as the no-deal scenario remains a possibility later in the year. We will continue to update our advice regularly in the coming weeks.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive